How to Avoid an IT Wreck

Before heading out on a road trip, most people make sure their car’s oil is changed and sufficiently filled, their brake pads are functioning properly and their tires aren’t bald. However, it’s just as important to perform regular maintenance on your car when you’re driving close to home. Starting the workday with a dead car battery is extremely inconvenient. Driving with warped brake rotors on the interstate during rush hour can be downright dangerous.

Most people understand the responsibilities and dangers that can come with driving a vehicle, but daily stress makes it easy to put off regular servicing. Your IT systems can suffer from the same negligence.

Small and medium-sized businesses likely have hundreds of devices that require regular maintenance — everything from computers, tablets, desk and mobile phones, servers, routers, printers, scanners, copiers and other machines.

Your office may perform full-scale system checks or data backups once a year or before beginning an ambitious project, but what do you do to ensure your equipment is functioning properly and securely on a regular basis? Can you or your employees recognize the signs of a breached or failing system?

We’ve got answers to your questions to keep irksome issues from turning into a complete wreck.

How do IT issues occur?

IT flareups are often the product of long-term issues that employees may not have recognized or that the company has not prioritized. It’s easy to see how more pressing work or more exciting projects can get in the way of fixing a system or device. If your office has only one or two IT employees on staff, small issues may fall through the cracks.

How can you keep an eye on your IT Services?

First, you need to set terms of reference for all employees. Make sure they understand how the systems and devices they use on a daily basis should work. Train employees to recognize common problems and provide a procedure to follow when issues occur. That way your employees aren’t driving around with the check engine light on for days without popping the hood of the vehicle or calling a mechanic.

Regular meetings are a great way to stay on top of your IT systems. Depending on your operations, a monthly meeting might be sufficient with all departments represented. The meetings should be streamlined, focusing on a plan of action to take care of the parts of your IT system that need regular maintenance — or ones that need special attention — until the next meeting.

How does managed IT help?

Third-party IT services providers, such as Infomax, supplement your existing IT team and allow your organization access to experts in various facets of IT. With Infomax’s iGuard Managed IT, clients know that more than 40 professionals with expert-level experience work for their business. Most importantly, managed IT provides business owners and employees peace of mind knowing that they have a team of professionals who are working proactively — not reactively — to keep your business safe from cyberthreats.

Managed IT providers work with businesses before breaches occur, periodically going over IT priorities. At Infomax, our iGuard Managed IT team even provides our clients with security awareness training to ensure employees are up to date on how to keep company data safe. iGuard Managed IT Services also entails regular data backups, ensuring that systems can be restored in the event of cyberattack, natural disaster or user error.

How does complete cloud computing keep your IT in line?

Infomax’s Complete Cloud Services — powered by Avatara — are similar to our managed IT services. However, our complete cloud services allow your company to completely hand your IT needs over to a team of experts.

It makes the most sense for businesses that don’t have full-time IT employees and want to staff to focus on their initiatives instead of pesky IT tasks. For instance, your mechanic wouldn’t expect you to rotate the tires on your vehicle while they change the oil.

With complete cloud services, our IT experts work even more proactively to protect and maintain your devices and IT systems. Additionally, all servers, storage and other infrastructure are moved to the cloud, represented as multiple secure data centers across the country. All computers and technological systems are hosted in the secured cloud, taking away the clutter of hardware your organization previously stored. Your business will never again need to buy new hardware, manage device upgrades or download new programs.

To learn more about how Infomax can help keep your IT systems running smoothly, contact us at 1-800-727-4629 or visit

Data Loss Could Prevent Business Growth

In the last two years, 90 percent of the world’s data was generated, according to Forbes. In an increasingly digital world, data generation will expand exponentially.

Each day, your business is creating data that details your company’s employees, clients, finances, work patterns, online searches, social media and other daily work. But what is your business doing to capture that information? As time goes on, you might find that your business has significant data drains or data loss that hinder reflection and future growth.

Why is it important to capture data?

Saving some types of data is an obvious necessity. For instance, businesses must keep information about income, budgets, invoices and other financial records to file taxes and report earnings to a board of directors. Files of contact information and work history for clients, vendors and business partners allows an organization to maintain their level of work.

But at the most basic level, businesses should analyze collected data to inform future decisions, allowing companies to budget, plan for growth in various departments, recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their workflow and much more. Properly analyzed data provides a clear, objective record. However, businesses that have data drains cannot rely on their data as a relevant record.

How can you spot a data drain?

A data drain is when you’re losing data your business generates. Unfortunately, you can’t go back in time to collect and archive data after it has disappeared. Here’s how you can determine if your business has a data drain.

  • You don’t have a plan to collect data. It’s important that your business outlines the types of data it wants to gather. In addition to employee, client and financial information, the categories of data you gather should be tailored to your business. You may want to track the amount of people who come into contact with your products and services, how potential and loyal customers interact with your brand, sales numbers, reports, communications, social media engagement and more. Have a conversation with each department in your organization to make sure your system is capturing the data they create on a regular basis.
  • You don’t know where data is stored. Do you know where you could find your organization’s data? Do department heads and employees know how to access data? If organizations do not regularly access and analyze data to inform business processes throughout each quarter, the resource is being wasted. Additionally, data security is extremely important in the digital world. Your business should be sure that your data is safe from cyberattacks, system failure and user error.
  • You don’t collect detailed data. Be diligent about outlining and evaluating the type of data your organization collects. Data is information that provides context to figures. If you don’t have enough information to provide that context, your data sets could be incomplete.
  • You don’t have a data recovery plan. Data recovery plans outline data restoration Disasters can range from damage done to hardware by a natural disaster, user error or cyberattacks. A thorough disaster recovery plan is detailed and delegates tasks to a team of information technology professionals and internal employees who can restore your business’ data as quickly as possible.

How to plug a data drain?

Your IT providers can work with your organization to perform regular data backups. Programs such as Infomax’s iGuard Managed IT and Complete Cloud services provide constant backup with information being stored in multiple secured data centers. Infomax will also train employees to spot potential cyberattacks and system breaches.

Additionally, document management systems offer tremendous ease in capturing information. Your documents will be stored in a secure archive that is easily searchable when it’s time to analyze data.

Learn more about Infomax’s IT services and document management system